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Quarterly Newsletter: Spring 2015

Spring quarter was a big success.

The Stanford Cyber Initiative drew attention at the White House Summit on Cybersecurity and Consumer Protection this February.

Our Spring quarter involved the selection of a research agenda, educational and community-building events, and interest from across Stanford's schools and departments. Below, we describe the highlights of our first seminar series, funded research projects, and collaborative events.

To see more of what we've been up to, keep in touch through our Events and Friday Cyber News mailing lists.

Our research agenda was selected from a campus-wide RFP process that drew 30 interdisciplinary proposal submissions from across Stanford's seven schools. The projects we selected represent the variety of cyber-social systems research on campus, and touch on labor, commerce, democracy and politics, education, and health. Cyber Initiative projects will be studying online labor platforms, modeling consumer privacy online, conducting track II diplomacy on cyber norms, and developing behavioral biometrics for authentication on mobile platforms. Our research aims to engage experts in policy and business, as well as departments and schools within Stanford, and those interested in hearing more about specific projects should contact the Initiative. We will also be hosting an event to meet and talk with our research community at the end of August.

Cyber for X, our Spring seminar series, drew participation from students, faculty, and staff, and included Dr. Cynthia Dwork of Microsoft Research, Professor Candace Thille, Dr. Christine Moran of Caltech, and Stanford CISO Michael Duff. We also hosted a special event with McKinsey & Co. Director James Kaplan on cybersecurity insurance, and arranged dinners with diverse faculty groups on selected cyber-social systems (health and medicine, labor and the workplace, financial systems, and democracy and politics). We were honored to participate in events with the New America Foundation, the Center for New American Security, the East West Institute, and the White House Summit on Cybersecurity and Consumer Protection. Being situated in Silicon Valley provides a broad range of interesting collaborations, and we are developing advisory groups for the research we fund, to further engage businesspeople and policymakers with interest and expertise in cybersecurity. Our Fall seminar series will involve panel debates on common misperceptions of cyber technology and security, and we hope to bring speakers from industry, the government, and academia together to provide diverse perspectives.

In the months to come, the Cyber Initiative is branching out and collaborating with many groups on campus. We are co-sponsoring a cybersecurity boot camp with CISAC and the Hoover Institution. The boot camp is a program that invites Congressional staffers to campus for a week-long briefing on issues of cybersecurity and privacy that feature frequently in votes and debates. We are bringing our first visiting scholar to campus, Ben Lawsky. Mr. Lawsky was the former Superintendent of Financial Services for the State of New York, and was instrumental in developing regulations for financial services involving Bitcoin, making New York the first state with cryptocurrency regulations. While at Stanford, Mr. Lawsky will guest lecture, speak at our seminar series, and collaborate on research and white papers. We are also working to develop educational programs for middle school students and emerging leaders in cyber technology.

To hear more about our plans and to meet our research community, please join us on August 21st from 3-6pm at the Cooley Courtyard outside Stanford Law School's Crown Building for a cocktail hour and get-together. Be sure to sign up for our mailing list for more details and future events!